- by Dennis Thompsett

To do this you snuck in and picked up dropped coins and spent money like a drunken sailor and then stayed after they shut down on the last night and signed up for Teardown. And walked away with a pocket full of cash. At least me and my brother did.

Surely everyone went to the Fall Fair in the Pleasure Grounds.There were games of skill, strange food, medal winning farm animals from the 4H kids and bakery goodies from their mothers. The organizers usually had strange animals out there too. I remember ostriches one year. Camels another time. I think they had Harness Racing as well- sort of Roman Chariot racing on bicycles.

But the best thing and the one thing everyone went to first with stars in their eyes were THE RIDES. I remember the Ferris Wheel, the Tilt  a-Whirl, the Salt and Pepper Shaker, the one where you stood up with your back against a wall, all strapped in like being in an open air coffin and then it would start to turn and go really fast and begin to turn vertical. It delivered the principle of creating gravity from a spinning circle that we've seen in Sci-fi movies ever since.

There were rides to threaten your very life. Or your Sweetie's so she'd cling on you tightly for protection. I wonder if you could track a mini baby boom every year 9 months after the Fair left town? Geez I was born in July. I wonder hmmm?

My brother and I started our 'Pay For Nothing Policy' early by sneaking into the Fair. Imagine their fat nerve. Charging to get into a playground. Well No Sir. Not on our watch. We'd go over the tall fence behind St. Mary's school and cling to it like monkees scrambling over the ravine and over to the fence behind the DHP place. We'd get past that fence, scurry across the equipment yard, through that final fence and grin the grins of successful raccoons. WE WERE AT THE FALL FAIR.

Our favourite ride that early in the morning was the Salt n Pepper Shaker. It wasn't going and the carnies were't up yet. GOLD MINE. All guys carried all their coins in their pockets and it all fell out on these upside down rides. So we pounced in the pit and scooped it all up. Then went looking for breakfast.

All the food booths were open so everything was fresh. I always liked the big swirl of pink stuff that melted in your mouth, but for a good meaty breakfast you could 't beat a couple of hot dogs and cold cokes from the Fireman's Booth.

The last night we went and signed up for teardown. We worked for about 10 hours carrying the big iron bits onto trucks and were paid in cash. We were rich for weeks.

I really appreciate Anne and her people at the OS Hub for making it possible these local stories that bring up so many sweet memories.

This one reminds me how very much I loved my brother. He was my best and only friend for all my life. All my little adventures were with him. But at some point we peeled apart like the skin slowly being peeled off an apple, never sure who was the peel and who was the core.

When he died i suddenly understood how closely we supported one another. I've been falling, slowly and happily ever since.

I hope you have someone just as important through your Teardown years.


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